The Tattoo Process
I take bookings on a books open/closed basis. If my books are closed, I am not taking bookings at the moment. If my books are open, I am taking bookings, usually for the current and following 1-2 months. You can always submit a booking form regardless of whether my books are open or closed.
You can also see whether my books are open or closed by following me on Instagram (my bio will say so, and I post updates and announcements about this periodically) or signing up for my newsletter!
Request Your Booking:
To request a booking with me, start by filling out and submitting a booking form. This will give me all of the information I need to know about the design you want, your budget, your availability, and you!
If I am currently taking bookings, you should hear back from me within 1-2 weeks. If my books are closed, I will give you an idea of when I will be taking bookings again, and will contact you when I’m ready to do so. I am not always able to accommodate everyone’s ideas, and will provide you with as clear an explanation as possible if I cannot fulfill your request.
I’m usually able to do all of the necessary planning for a tattoo design over email, but I offer optional in-person or virtual consults for anyone who would like to meet me first, see the space I work in, ask questions, and discuss their ideas verbally with me. This does not require a deposit and is free. You can request a consult in your booking form. You are welcome to book your tattoo appointment and pay your deposit at the same time that you book your consult, or you can wait until your consult is over to decide to book in.
A patch test is a small tattooed dot to test your skin's reaction to a tattoo ink and its appearance on the skin. I do not use coloured ink at this time but can test a variety of black inks that I have available in the studio. I recommend having a patch test done if you want to see how the ink pigment will appear on your skin tone, you have allergies to colorants or worry you may have an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink, or you are prone scarring (ie. you have keloids). This does not require a deposit, is free, and includes a consultation.
Flash vs. Custom:
Appointment Offer & Deposit:
Tattoo flash refers to pre-drawn designs a tattoo artist has available for you to choose from. You can view my flash book in person by requesting a consult, stopping by my shop during open hours (see our shop instagram @stayawhile.tattoo for updated shop hours), or at the time of your appointment; or you can view my flash online by looking through my ‘FLASH’ story highlight on my Instagram. You may choose a flash piece to have tattooed (either before your appointment or when you come in for your appointment), or you can request a custom drawing based on your own idea.
Once we’ve clarified your tattoo idea and availability, you will be offered an appointment and asked to pay a deposit. To book an appointment, I require a $60 deposit – this insures against last-minute cancellations and no-shows. Your deposit is included in the total cost of your tattoo, and will be deducted from the price of your tattoo at the end of your tattoo appointment. I cannot confirm your booking, hold any flash pieces, or start any custom drawings until receiving a deposit. Once offered, I will be able to hold your spot for 72 hours, so ask that your deposit be paid within this time frame. If you miss the deadline or need more time to think and have any questions answered, we can discuss a different time and date.
This deposit is non-refundable. Exceptions apply under special circumstances, including in the event of a last minute appointment cancellation due to Covid-19, or if you are otherwise feeling sick and cannot reschedule your appointment.
Once your deposit is submitted, you will receive a confirmation of your appointment date and time. You will also be able to claim a flash tattoo design; alternatively, if you are getting a custom tattoo, I will begin working on your design.
Before you come in for your appointment, we will agree on a price for your tattoo that suits your budget. I will provide you with a range of prices to choose from on a sliding scale basis – find more details on this pricing structure here. We’ll do this right away if you have requested a flash piece beforehand. If you will be choosing a flash piece when you come in, we’ll discuss pricing during your appointment. If we’re doing a custom design, we will talk through pricing when I send your drawings ahead of time.
The price of your tattoo includes your deposit. You can either pay the remainder of your tattoo cost at the end of your appointment, or you may choose to pay for your tattoo in multiple installments (this can be requested in your booking form or at any other time).
Custom drawings and their price are sent out in the 48h leading up to your appointment. I will usually send you a few different ideas and leave time for you to request any changes to the design. Updated designs can be sent before your appointment if I have enough notice, or we can choose to work out the final design in person at the time of your appointment. If significant changes need to be made to the design that cannot be done in time for your appointment, we may need to reschedule.
I cannot tattoo you if you are under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs at the time of your appointment.
Make sure you have eaten and are hydrated when you arrive, and bring extra snacks and water.
Avoid excessive caffeine intake beforehand (ie. don’t drink any more coffee in the morning than you normally would).
Please try to avoid alcohol consumption the night before your tattoo – this causes a lot more bleeding and inflammation than is necessary!
You may take ibuprofen before your tattoo to help lessen inflammation during the procedure, especially if you are prone to swelling and redness.
Please show up wearing your mask! I have extras if you don’t have your own.
Wear comfortable clothing. Try to wear looser clothing or bring extra clothes to change into if that will allow me better access to the area being tattooed. And try to wear dark colours! I don’t want to risk staining your clothing with tattoo ink.
Bring any form of distraction you might need – books, podcasts, music, knitting, homework etc.
Please communicate to me beforehand if you would like to be bring someone to your appointment with you - we are still sometimes limiting our capacity in the shop and cannot always accommodate extra people. If you are not able to bring someone, you can always plan to phone or video call a friend at any point during your session.
If you need to cancel your appointment more than 48 hours prior to your appointment time, please send me an email; if your cancellation falls within 48 hours of your appointment, I will have you text or call me at the phone number provided to you in your booking confirmation. We can either reschedule your appointment or cancel it completely. I do not charge a cancellation fee, but I will keep your deposit unless under special circumstances.
At this time, all appointments are subject to last minute change due to Covid-19. If you or I need to cancel your appointment due to sickness or a requirement to self-isolate, regardless of how last minute, your deposit can be refunded. You can also keep your deposit and choose to reschedule your session.
Throughout your tattoo appointment, I will do my very best to clearly and thoroughly communicate how the process will work, provide ample opportunity for you to ask questions and make decisions, and continually check in with you to ensure you are comfortable. You always have the right to change your mind, dissent, withdraw consent, question my actions or process or end your appointment at any point during your session.
See more information on how to get to the studio here. If you have any trouble finding the shop, please text or call me at the number I have provided to you in your confirmation email and I will help you out. I’ll then show you around the space and give you a chance to get comfortable and settled. From this point forward and at any time throughout your session, you may ask to access any of the additional safeguards offered in the space.
You will be asked to fill out a form consenting to the tattoo procedure once you are in the studio. All of the information you provide is kept confidential and will only be used in the event that it is requested by Alberta Health Services (ie. due to a health infraction in the studio).
Finalizing Your Tattoo Design:
At this point, we’ll have a look at your tattoo design on paper. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, request changes, and adjust the size of the design. We’ll also discuss the placement of the tattoo. You can take as much time and privacy as you need while deciding on the design and are encouraged to share your ideas and opinions freely. If you change your mind or would like to see significant changes made to the design, we may need to reschedule your tattoo procedure to allow sufficient time for this.
Skin Prep and Tattoo Placement:
Once you are happy with the tattoo design, I’ll first work with you to make sure I can easily access the area where the tattoo will go.
I will then prep the skin being tattooed and the surrounding area by disinfecting and shaving it. This is the first point in the session where I will come into physical contact with you and I will ask your consent before doing so.
I will then try placing the tattoo design – this is done with a removable transfer ink (a ‘stencil’) that will show how the design will look on your skin before you go through with the procedure. The stencil can be moved, re-drawn, and re-placed again as many times as is needed for you to be happy with it. At this point, if you are still not happy with the design or feeling unsure, we can always go back to the drawing board, make adjustments, or reschedule your tattoo for a later date.
You can take as much time and privacy as you need at this point in the process to make your decision.
The Tattoo Procedure:
Before we start your tattoo, I’ll talk through the procedure with you and give you an opportunity to ask any questions you have.
We’ll discuss the best way for you to be positioned in order for you to be comfortable and for me to work.
When you are comfortable and feeling ready, I will ask your consent to start the procedure.
If you consent, I’ll start by poking 2-3 dots, and check in with you to see whether the pain level is tolerable and you are comfortable.
If at this point you want to continue, I will start tattooing, and will do my best to explain what I’m doing and check in with you periodically to make sure you are still comfortable and your pain level is manageable throughout the process. You are always welcome to ask questions about my process and how I’m doing things throughout the session.
You may take breaks, change your position, move around and stretch at any point and as many times as you need or want to – please communicate this with me first so that can stop what I’m doing before you move!
You may choose to chat with me, stay quiet, or do something else to distract yourself. I won’t be at all offended if you don’t want to socialize during your tattoo!
If you decide you want to stop for the day, or I find that your skin becomes too irritated for me to continue working, we may stop part way through your tattoo and finish it up at a later date. Larger and more detailed tattoos are often broken up into multiple sessions.
When I feel I am done, you’ll be given an opportunity to look at the tattoo and decide whether you are happy with it and feel it is finished.
I will then take any photos or video footage of the tattoo if you consent to it. You will be shown the photos taken and can choose whether they are kept or discarded.
Finally, we’ll bandage your tattoo up, you’ll have an opportunity to change and cover the tattooed area back up with clothing, and we’ll discuss aftercare.
And you’re done!
You will be asked to pay the remainder of your tattoo cost at the end of your appointment; or if you have chosen to pay in multiple installments, I will take the first payment at this point.
I strongly prefer CASH PAYMENTS. If for any reason you cannot pay with cash, you may pay with e-transfer, debit, or credit.
I’ll make sure you have everything you need and have had enough time to rest before walking you out of the building once your appointment is over.
You will receive thorough instructions on how to care for your tattoo via email immediately after your appointment. You are always welcome to reach out with any questions you have about healing your tattoo!
Check-Ins and Feedback:
You are encouraged to let me know how your tattoo has healed up and send healed photos of your tattoo if you like! If you have any feedback for me, you are more than welcome to send this to me in an email or through my contact form. Any following up post-appointment will be done over email or Instagram direct message – whichever you prefer.
I will only post photos or videos of your tattoo publicly on social media or my website if you have consented to this. I will not share your name or any other personal information, or tag/mention your social media handles in my posts unless you would like me to do so.
I offer free touch-ups within 2 years of your appointment. If your tattoo heals unevenly, fades more than should be expected, or you are otherwise unhappy with it, I’m more than happy to fix it. Please contact me if you want to book a touch-up! You can always send a photo along if you’re not sure whether your tattoo needs touching up or not.